Rating : 7/10
Release Date : 8th August, 2014
Time : 121 minutes
Director, Writer : James Gunn; Co-writer : Nicole Perlman (based on the Marvel comic by Dan Abnett and Andy Lanning); Music : Tyler Bates
Starring : Chris Pratt, Zoe Saldhana, Dave Bautista, Lee Pace, Michael Rooker, Karen Gillan, Djimon Hounsou, John C Reilly, Glenn Close, Benicio Del Toro
What saves this film is its jaunty, retro music-loving hero, Chris Pratt, the hair- raising antics of Rocket, the raccoon and the overall excellent sense of humour, refusal to take itself too seriously. Otherwise, for someone who hasn’t read the Marvel comics and isn’t familiar with the characters or the set-up, it can be quite confusing, too many things to absorb.
Chris is picked up by an alien spacecraft shortly after his mother passes away. He is next seen, all grown up, a Ravager (kind of like a scavenger, hunts things down for a commission), searching for an orb. And suddenly, you find everyone wants that orb. Soon, there is a bounty on Chris’ head and he is being chased by various people including his mentor, Yondu (Michael Rooker), a very green creature, Gamora (Zoe Saldhana), a raccoon named Rocket (Bradley Cooper) accompanied by a tree with superpowers (Vin Diesel), a dangerous type of character, Ronan (Lee Pace), Thanos (Josh Brolin), someone even Ronan fears, A hulk named Drax (Dave Bautista), The Collector (Benicio Del Toro), and the protectors of a planet named Xandar, the Nova, led by Glenn Close. Whew !
The advantage of so many new characters is there isn’t a dull moment. Each, even if featured briefly, has some unique quirks which stay with you. And the central ones, well, Chris refuses to be separated from a mix tape made by his mom, Drax speaks like a walking thesaurus, Rocket knows more than a thing or two about fighting and Gamora, well, she is quite green at dancing (but willing to be trained), while Groot seems to have a rather limited vocabulary.
Its quite amazing, the conceptualization of the sets, the action sequences – you would think by now you’ve seen it all but they still do manage to surprise you, make you gasp in awe. Ronan’s ship, the Dark Aster and the way its blockaded by the Nova, or the prison break by our dashing hero and his friends, in particular stand out. The soundtrack is really good, suits the characters and the tempo of the film. Chris Pratt really stands out as the hero of the film, tackling everything with innate breeziness and quite hilariously, his dance moves.
So, the beginning of yet another successful, superhero franchise from the almost never-ending repertoire of Marvel comics, not that I'm complaining. I went in with very low expectations but came back delighted. Looking forward to the next one !